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Old October 18, 2018, 12:04 AM   #1
Brian Pfleuger
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I got one!

aka... That was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

Aspen Leaf Reservoir was a bust, so we moved on. Figured I'd better learn some areas myself. After a couple days of driving, stopping at a few spots, wandering a ways back in the woods and seeing nothing, not even tracks, we were at last day.

There was a place I though looked promising on gps, and another hunter we'd seen told us he hunted about a mile away and always saw elk so we decided to try it.

The spot is right at 9,600 feet (of course, the truck is at 9,900ft)and there's ~12" snow up there already. I walked back in, 2,300ft to be exact, no counting the elevation change, down a hill to an open meadow and sat under a nice pine with dry ground around it. The wind was, amazingly, right in my face and steady. After about an hour, my legs got cramped so I stood up.

Another 1/2 hour later, I look over to the SE and see what I "knew" was a rock sticking out from behind a tree, because I just "knew" there were no elk around, but it looked just like an elk butt and I thought to myself "That's odd, how did I not notice that before?"

I took a peak through my scope... damn thing was on 3x... who talked me into getting a 3x variable anyway? I looked down to turn it up and just as I looked back up the "rock" started walking. As soon as I saw the head I knew it was a legal bull. It disappeared behind a large pine in the middle of the field and I took the opportunity to lay down and use my pack as a rest (which was waiting on the ground for just such an occasion).

I had ranged the field when I first sat down and I knew it was 278 to the far side. Perfect setup for my Tikka T3x in the feeble, elk incapable caliber of 7mm-08. I thought for a while that the bull was going to turn and go straight away behind that tree, but I finally saw brown where he was coming out. He headed more or less perpendicular to me across the field and just as he was about to enter the trees and I thought I'd have to whistle (or something, I hadn't decided), he stopped. I was guessing 250 yards, which is about dead zero for the feeble... oh never mind... 7mm-08. I was already on target, "heart high" so I immediately squeeeezed the trigger.

The 120gr Barnes did exactly as I've come to expect (on deer)... the bull dropped instantly. He was kicking his front legs, so I put another one through the bottom of his chest and he stopped immediately.

Took me 4 trips back to the truck. No joke, that was the most physically challenging thing I have ever done.



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Old October 18, 2018, 12:44 AM   #2
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Congratulations!! Well done.
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Old October 18, 2018, 12:50 AM   #3
huntinaz
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That’s awesome! Was hoping you'd be posting a story soon. Congrats and nice bull.
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Old October 18, 2018, 02:46 AM   #4
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good for you

A solo elk hunt, well done.

I will likely never hunt elk, and am always a bit envious of those who do, and are successful to boot!!!!!!!!

Very good job.

Gotta tell you though, seeing you pics with snow seemed odd. I went bowhunting this PM for whitetails......it was 70 degrees plus and the mosquitoes were a hassle.
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Old October 18, 2018, 04:52 AM   #5
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Congratulations on a job well done!
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Old October 18, 2018, 04:54 AM   #6
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Congratulations,
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Old October 18, 2018, 07:10 AM   #7
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Congrats on the nice elk.
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:19 AM   #8
FITASC
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Good job! The Western Slope is a great place to hunt. When I lived there I loaded 160s in the 7mag and 140s in the 7-08. They were awesome.

12" of snow already? I still have midday temps in the mid 80s..............(I do not miss the snow at all)
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:41 AM   #9
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Congratulations!! That is a memory that will last. Thanks for posting the pics.
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Old October 18, 2018, 09:18 AM   #10
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Only 4 trips to the truck? Wow! I'm sure it would have taken me much more than that - even in my younger days.

Congrats on a great hunt.
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Old October 18, 2018, 11:53 AM   #11
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FITASC
12" of snow already? I still have midday temps in the mid 80s..............(I do not miss the snow at all)
That's only up there. The snow line right now is probably 9,000 ft. Even that is from some freak weather, it rained here for 10+ days straight... of course, it was largely snow up there.

Down here it's still in the 60s most every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doyle
Only 4 trips to the truck? Wow! I'm sure it would have taken me much more than that - even in my younger days.
We may have done a less than stellar job on the field dressing, but it was the best we could do under the circumstances. I'm curious to get a weight on the meat.
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Old October 18, 2018, 12:27 PM   #12
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IIRC, last bull I helped pack out that size required 4.5 man trips. And we had the heart and liver. We probably could have done it in 4. So that’s about right.
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Old October 18, 2018, 02:53 PM   #13
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Congratulations, very nice...
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Old October 18, 2018, 05:11 PM   #14
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My wife and I are leaving GA on the 29th or 30th headed to Colorado for the Nov. 3-11 hunt. I'll hunt, my wife is the camp cook and will help pack out if I get lucky.

The excitement has been building for a few weeks and seeing your success just amps it up.

Congratulations, and I think the 7-08 is plenty of gun. I'll be carrying a 308.
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Old October 18, 2018, 05:37 PM   #15
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Well done indeed oh yes
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Old October 18, 2018, 05:40 PM   #16
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Thank you for sharing !!!
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Old October 18, 2018, 05:42 PM   #17
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Hauling out my moose was really easy. I sat and drank coffee while my son in law the Ironman competitor made trip after trip with his buddy. Both carrying load after load. Being old has its advantages lol
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Old October 18, 2018, 06:04 PM   #18
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Nice job! Though I can't believe you really got him with that feeble 7. Could you be hiding the fact that you really used a .50? We may need a better pic of the gun just to be sure . . .
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Old October 18, 2018, 06:36 PM   #19
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Congratulation! I am still waiting to get my first "big game" hunt. Did a lot of small game hunting in Alaska. Curious, how much meat do you think you got off of him?
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Old October 18, 2018, 06:48 PM   #20
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Packing elk is a lot of work.
Congrats.
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:21 PM   #21
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Brian,
Congratulations on getting that elk. Your write-up was excellent and I could picture the entire experience. Hope you get many more. This just shows that it's not all about caliber, it's putting the bullet on the target. Good job.
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:27 PM   #22
Dano4734
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Moose. Got 600 pounds of meat oh yes and my moose was not a big trophy just a legal young bull but we still got that much meat. They are huge animals. Your elk is amazing
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:28 PM   #23
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Congrats on a great job. That hunt had to be good for the soul and the meat will provide a lot of high quality food for the body.
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Old October 18, 2018, 08:48 PM   #24
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I gotta say when I saw you were elk hunting, I started anticipating this post and looking forward to it more than I have in awhile. Good job man.
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Old October 18, 2018, 11:44 PM   #25
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntinaz
I gotta say when I saw you were elk hunting, I started anticipating this post and looking forward to it more than I have in awhile. Good job man.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2damnold4this
Congrats on a great job.
I won't quote everybody, but I really appreciate all the posts. It means a lot to me to have you folks genuinely interested.

Little update, after thorough cleaning and removal of the white skin and what-not we were left with 163lbs at the processor, plus the weight of the head. I also carried a front shoulder out intact. So, in all, I carried roughly 225lb out in those 4 trips. I discovered quickly that a more thorough understanding of my backpacks proper usage would have been valuable. Also discovered that leaving the pack at the truck to start and going back for it if you shoot something, while seemingly easier, suddenly becomes not at all easier if you actually do need it.

Each round trip took almost exactly an hour... 45 minutes loaded and 15 back. There were times I was going up the hill and stopping to rest every 4 or 5 steps. I pulled the trigger at 4:30 almost exactly and we drove away around 9:15.

I took a couple of quick measurements on the antlers. They're just about 36" wide at the top Y. The brow tines are 7.5 and 8.5" long.
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